Linda Jackson, founder and CEO of To the Top Cycling LLC, has confirmed that her women’s cycling team, EF Education-TIBCO-SVB, will disband at the end of 2023. Jackson revealed to CyclingNews that the team’s Women’s WorldTeam license will not be transferred to another team, and all riders and staff are free to join other teams in 2024.
“It is with deep regret that I confirm that I have not been able to secure the sponsorship needed to maintain my world tour licence,” Jackson said. “Trying to find sponsorship was just too difficult following SVB’s collapse in March, given the overall economic environment at the time. I let my riders know early on that they should be looking for other opportunities as my main priority was to be transparent and assist them with transitions to other world tour teams versus dragging out the sponsorship hunt to the 11th hour.”Linda Jackson
The team’s long-term sponsors, Tibco and Silicon Valley Bank, withdrew their support after the bank’s collapse earlier this year. These companies had backed Jackson’s team since 2008. Cannondale has been the team’s bike partner since 2020.
EF Education became a co-title sponsor of Jackson’s team at the start of the 2022 season and continued through 2023. The team is owned and managed by Jackson and her management company To the Top Cycling LLC. EF Pro Cycling, which manages the men’s WorldTour team, announced in June that it will launch a new women’s team in 2024, racing as EF Education-Cannondale. EF Pro Cycling, when asked by CyclingNews if they had considered taking over Jackson’s team’s Women’s WorldTeam licence, were non-committal.
Jackson confirmed that there will be no connection between her current team and the new EF Education-Cannondale Continental team in 2024.
“I have just announced that I have been unable to secure sponsorship to renew my WorldTour licence, and currently have no plans to operate a Continental team either. As you can see, the hiring of Veronica [Ewers], and possibly other riders, neither I, nor EF, are enforcing any contract clause that would prevent them from hiring EF-TIBCO-SVB staff or riders and they are free to contact the new EF Education-Cannondale team regarding work for next season. I have no say or influence on which members, riders or staff, from this year’s team they choose to hire for 2024 and beyond.
The team has been my life for 20 years. I’ll deeply miss being immersed in the progression of women’s cycling, but I look forward to watching the sport evolve and hope that over the next 18-24 months, as our economy improves, I can find partners that can allow us to recreate our successful history.”Linda Jackson
Jackson, one of Canada’s most successful professional female cyclists, created the longest-running women’s team in North America in 2004, providing opportunities for American and Canadian women to compete in world-class cycling. Over nearly 20 years, the team won numerous accolades, including almost 70 national championship medals and 20 medals at major events. The team’s most significant win came this year with Alison Jackson at Paris-Roubaix Femmes.